How bad do your kid’s smelly feet need to get before you think about how to deodorize their stinky shoes?!
Most kids tend to be way too busy to be thinking about something so boring and mundane as their increasingly pungent peds. For real, it’s crazy how, even though it’s one of the hottest summers on record, most little kids are just able to continue running about, business as usual. Like seriously, their biggest problem is whether the incoming ice cream truck has Choco-Tacos anymore, or if they’ll have to settle for the Drum Stick.
But ok, one thing that kids do maybe have to worry about? Or, I guess *we* will have to worry about? Their stinky shoes.
You heard me– fun times in this heat are totally going to foster the worst of foot funk in your kids’ shoes, which sucks not just for them, but for you and the rest of the family as well.
Whether it be from baseball, basketball, tag, or even chasing after the ice cream truck (which is totally a recognized and verified sport, if you weren’t aware), kids’ shoes can work up a nasty nasal assault before school gets back in session.
Don’t let the stink get in your kid's way of having a super amazing rest of their summer! There are way too many fun things to do for them to have to worry about something so easily managed; and trust me, fixing your stinky shoes couldn’t be easier with these next tricks I’m going to share with you.
Table of Contents
1. Rotation kind of Rocks
2. Lose the Smell with Lemon or Lime Peels
3. Say NOPE to funk with SOAP!
4. Steam Cleaning your Shoes (IOW becoming a *literal* fairy godmother with a magic wand that'll bibbity-bobbity-kick the stinky bacteria's butt!)
5. Stop Smelly Shoes with Sunlight
6.LUMI's Natural Shoe and Foot Powder
We’re going to start off with the hardest option on this list. Well, at least I feel like it’d be the hardest if I were the kid in question, because it involves giving our favorite pairs of shoes a break.
PTO for shoes? Are we actually for real?
Yeah, giving your kids rank runners a break makes a ton of sense– here, I’ll break it down for you guys.
So you kids’ feet? Actually pretty odorless? Your kids sweat? Also, in fact, pretty dang odorless?
So wait– what creates the funk, then?
Your feet– and our kids’ feet– are home to more than just your everyday, average grime and grit. Oh no, in actuality, dear reader, human feet provide a habitat for a veritable host of smelly bacteria (*cue the boos in the audience).
Yeah, it sucks. The bacteria on our feet basically consume the sweat and dead skin cells on our feet, and then they get stinky, and then our socks start to smell, and then we’re in crisis-mode because the shoes now smell like a microwaved rat.
So a supes simple solution to deodorizing those smelly shoes is to remove the source of the bacteria’s food– um, which to recap is the feet.
But like, considering kids’ summertime adventures need shoes typically, we just have to make sure that there are some handy substitutes for when our kids’ favorite funky footwear needs to take a breather on the bench.
Simply help your child to rotate between 2-3 sets of suitable summertime shoes, and then they and you should be all set!
2. Lemon or Lime Peel
But shoes can be expensive, and letting our kids have multiple shoes just to run around in might seem a bit excessive.
I mean, (*cue dramatic old person voice*) “Back in my day I walked to school uphill BOTH ways and in the snow! Unless the storm had a name, I was out there headed to school, and so help me, if you even think you can have several sets of shoes that you’re going to get all gross and dirty, then you’ve got another thing coming, ya’ young whippah-snappah!!”
Kids these days can’t just expect a second or third set of bougie shoes simply because the first ones stink, I suppose. It’s an option, surely, but perhaps not exactly the one that you were looking for.
So in order to save your kids’ current set of sweaty sneakers, you might want to try getting at the cause of the problem– aka the bacteria.
The acid found in lemon and lime peels is enough to make us pucker after a long drought of lemon/limeade after a hot summer’s adventure, and it’s also enough to send the bacteria packing (heck to the frik-frakin' yeah)!
The next time you make you and the kids some lemonade or limeade for the sweltering day ahead, make sure that you save those peels.
You can stuff the peels right into the shoes, and let 'em hang for as long as possible (ie overnight, which is the best possible option), but just make sure to keep in mind that even lemon and lime peels can go bad if left at room temperature for a bit too long.
DON’T leave the sour peels in there for longer than a dayish, because it's better to be safe than sorry when it comes to deodorizing those shoes. Replace the peels after a day, if you’d like, but seriously, rotten produce isn’t something any of us want to mess around with– especially since we’re trying to make your kids’ shoes smell better, not way worse!
3. Soap Saves the Day
We wash the rest of our kids’ clothes with soap. We suds up our hands after our summertime adventures. Literally, everything gets sudsed up, so why not our smelly shoes?
Those stinky, dastardly dank sneakers which stand in dire need of a good cleaning?
Ya’ um, imma be honest and say that they need it, and we all know it!
Not like with water and bubbles– I mean, even worn-out from running around, some sneakers don’t take well to bath-time. We can still use the soap to deodorize your shoes, though!
Find yourself two bars of soap (any kind that you’d normally use for your hands will work just fine) and tuck them right on into the sneakers with the stank.
Crazy? Will this actually work? Yes siree-bob, it actually will, I pinky-swear. This option is supes easy, and supes effective.
Just leave the soap bars in overnight and your kids’ shoes will be smelling great in no time at all.
Note that it’ll totally work even better if you do it several times a week, consistently sticking soap bars into the smelly shoes like 2-4 times if you can manage to sneak away your kids’ sneakers that often (once again, overnight is easiest– not just because it offers the longest amount of time for the soap to work its odor-defying magic, but also because it’s when your kids will be least likely to notice your thievery of their beloved footwear).
4. Steam Clean
But you want to make sure that all of the bacteria really has taken the hint– you want to make sure that your kids’ shoes are clean-clean, and not like 98% of the way there, and after one measly afternoon spent playing in the sun, their shoes will be back to smelling like… well, sweaty feet, which would be awful after all the work you put in to make their shoes smell
No need to worry! Steam cleaners come in clutch when we want a truly thorough cleaning of the shoes.
Seriously, you just have to stick the steam cleaner into the terrible-smelling tennies, wait for literally like 20 seconds, and then you’re off the hook.
The steam is supes hot (duh), and will toast up any of the bacteria. Ok and you want to know what’s also pretty cool about this option? If you wave your seemingly magical steam wand over the rest of the smelly sneakers, the steam will take care of most stains as well. Seriously, it’s crazy, but I’ve seen the oldest and grossest of shoes go from grunge to great in no time at all thanks to the wonder that is steam cleaners.
So it kills bacteria, gets rid of stains, and it’s also literally just using water? Uh, yeah, haven’t you been reading!? Just make sure to let the shoes air-dry for a bit before letting the kiddos slip them back on again, because warm, moist environments (like not-quite-dry shoes) will just set the stage for even more bacteria to stink up the sneakers, which wouldn’t be great after all of that, am I right?
5. Store ‘em in the Sunlight
Do you want something more hands-off? I gotchu, don’t you worry! For this next option, we literally just need an absolute butt-ton of sunshine.
You worry about making sure your little tykes get enough sunscreen for spending all day outside (and reapply every two hours!), but the bacteria? Nah, the sun can toast those suckers, and we’ll be all the happier (and better-smelling) for it.
Keeping your kids’ shoes stored outside is one of the easiest ways to passively deodorize any and all offensive odors. The sun is going to A) Help zap the bacteria (pretty exciting) and B) Dry out the sweaty shoes so that more bacteria doesn’t get the chance to replicate and stink up aforementioned shoes (also pretty dang exciting, if you were to ask me). Easy-peasy, practically lemon-squeezy (but not quite, because that was one of the earlier options, of course).
Just make sure to be careful to not leave the shoes outside when you think that there may be a possibility of rain. Soggy shoes are even worse than shoes that are already slightly stinky, because a wet environment is exactly what bacteria needs to thrive and jive. *Read* smelly, and not so great for our schnozzes and dignity.
For those of you who reside in a typically rainy bit of the world (been there, done that, and have lived in Seattle once upon a time), you’re more than welcome to try stashing your kids’ smelly shoes in a more sunny part of your home. It’s likely not to be as effective as the actual outdoors, but it certainly couldn’t make your kids’ shoes any stinkier!
6. LUMI’S (literally freakin’ amazing) Natural Shoe and Foot Powder
But if you really want to make doubly-sure that your kids’ shoes don’t smell anymore, you can kick things up a notch with LUMI’s Natural Shoe and Foot Powder.
This option is also literally the speediest. With kids coming and going, who has time to steam clean their sweaty sneakers? What if you forget that you stuck the lemon or lime peel in the shoes, and the smell somehow impossibly gets worse.
LUMI uses all-natural, super high quality ingredients in order to ensure that you’re stink-free after use. They never test on animals and are a small, family-owned business that manufacturers their products all in the USA.
LUMI’s Natural Shoe and Foot Powder has a 4.6 star rating on Amazon, over 600 of which are perfect 5 star reviews (it’s that awesome). “Chicagoeleven” here talks about how this is the thing if you need help fixing your kids’ shoe funk for good.
How can you do this too? Just tap a little bit of the powder into the offending shoes, and you're done! Pow! Wha-bam! That’s literally all you have to do in order to salvage those sweaty sneakers.
Forget the stink! It’s done! It’s gone! Focus on summertime fun with the kids instead of the summertime stank. Run to all of the ice cream trucks! Play with all of the water blasters! Go camping, hiking, pogo-sticking, literally whatever you want to do this summer with your kids, you just go on ahead and do it all without any fear of smelly shoes coming back to bother y’all.
Alrighty, so let's list out a quick rundown of all 6 of these options, just in case.
First up, we’ve got rotation– literally, all this option suggests is that you have your kids wear different shoes every so often. Super easy for even the most busy of parents, and the most adventurous of kids.
Secondly, lemon or lime peels in the shoe work like a charm, and ok also, I mean it’s summertime, and you could totally make a freakin’ amazing batch of lemon/limeade to power your way through another awesome summer’s day. I think that’s what some might call a “win-win,” all around.
Up next we’ve got something pretty simple with soap! This option is almost stupidly easy, because you’ve just got to stick a bar of soap into each shoe, and leave the setup to deodorize overnight! Now–I know that this may seem daunting, even horrifyingly difficult, but I believe in you! Just get the soap. Get the shoes. And (*takes a deep breath) slip the soap into the shoes.
Steam cleaning is also pretty easy. It’s like waving a magic wand and BOOM no more bacteria! No more funk! Maybe sing a magical song at the end, because your dreams of great-smelling shoes for you and your family have come true!
Or storage out in sunlight! Also pretty simple for the parent who’s been run ragged, and just needs a quick and effective fix for their kids’ smelly shoes. Keep the shoes outside, and keep the funk at bay!
Last, yet certainly not least, LUMI’s Natural Shoe and Foot Powder is easier than pie. Seriously, put a bit of the powder in, and then you’ve done it! Take a deep breath, and celebrate that your kids (and you!) can wrap up this summer in style, smelling awesome, etc. etc.
Summertime doesn’t have to mean stink! Deodorize your kids’ shoes ASAP with one of these quick and easy tricks!